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Northeast Historical Archaeology

Abstract

The Tyngs were a wealthy family in Dunstable (now Tyngsborough), Massachusetts in the late- 17th and 18th centuries. They were descended from a Boston merchant, and maintained many commercial connections. Some members of the family became rural storekeepers in Dunstable. Historical research and archaeological data from Eleazer Tyng's house site show the different ways in which the Tyngs related themselves to the urban coastal elite, and participated in the culture of gentility and refinement. Through architecture, social connections, and material goods such as tea wares, they lived as rural elites with connections to the coast. Rather than directly mimicking the life of Boston elites, the Tyngs adapted gentility to their rural life and agrarian base.

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